Oppose: The EATS Act Would Undermine State Farmed Animal Protection Laws
The EATS Act would undermine states' ability to enact laws affecting agricultural practices, jeopardizing numerous state-level farmed animal protection laws.
January 3, 2023
In more than a dozen states across the U.S., voters and legislators have passed laws protecting farmed animals from some of the most egregious cruelty in the factory farming industry: intensive confinement in systems such as gestation crates, veal crates, and battery cages. Other states are currently considering similar legislation.
Now, federal lawmakers have introduced a bill that would likely jeopardize these humane reforms.
The bill, known as the Exposing Agricultural Trade Suppression (EATS) Act (H.R. 4999/S. 2619), could strip states and localities of their right to impose standards or conditions on the production or manufacturing of agricultural products sold or offered for sale in interstate commerce when those standards differ from federal law or the laws of other states.
If this dangerous bill were to become law, years’ worth of legislative victories for farmed animals at the state level could be imperiled. The bill’s broad language could also jeopardize state laws that, for example, are designed to protect dogs from the cruelty of puppy mills, promote food and food packaging safety, protect rural communities, and preserve our environment.
The EATS Act is similar to legislation in previous sessions of Congress that came to be known as the “King Amendment” after its sponsor, then-Representative Steve King of Iowa. A broad coalition of advocates for animal protection, food safety, consumer protection, environmental preservation, and rural communities, as well as small farmers, staunchly opposed the King Amendment and helped ensure its defeat in both 2014 and 2018. It’s critical that animal advocates help defeat the EATS Act as well.
The Animal Legal Defense Fund strongly opposes the EATS Act.
Visit aldf.org/farmedanimals to learn more about the issues farmed animals face on industrial farms.